July 3, 2016

Top 5 for the 4th of July!

The exciting long weekend is upon us! I hope as you read this you are packing up to head to a lake and enjoy the sunshine! As I think about the 4th of July, my five first thoughts are grilled food, American flags, fireworks, swim suits and water (lakes, pools, sprinklers or whatever you can scrounge up). There is really nothing better than that! Lets talk about each one of these 4th of July favorites:

Grilled food is a summer favorite, I sometimes wonder if I could ever really get sick of a grilled brat on a bun with ketchup... it's doubtful! However, I supposed we should mix things a big considering brats probably aren't the best option, with over 500 mg of sodium and around 10 grams of saturated fat. Don't get me wrong, not bashing brats. I eat them often, que the age old saying I live by "everything in moderation." However, a meal on the grill doesn't have to only have meat. At our house we toss on some veggies too which rounds out the meal nicely. I think the summer it's easy to forget about that because we get so caught up on pork chops and burgers. 

Get yourself a grilling basket or skillet type of pan and toss on the fresh or frozen veggies. Once our garden is ready for harvesting we'll be in business, but until then we simply toss on a bag of frozen veggies (budget friendly + healthy!), season with a little bit of whatever seasoning you like a voila you have a side dish! I even store mine on the grill so when we go to light it for our next grilled meal we remember "oh yes, what should we do for veggies?"

American Flags
Well of course part of each 4th of July celebration is an American Flag or two. After all we are celebrating our independence not just a day off of work! Try making this treat that is dual purpose 1) gets the kids involved in their food 2) demonstrate patriotism #Merica.

Toast, cream cheese, strawberry jam, bananas and blueberries make a cute American Flag!

As a kid I LOVED fireworks. There's just something about being a kid and watching a firework show. Now as a mom it's even more fun to see my son's face light up at the seemingly magical scene in the sky. 

Swim Suits
I know what you're thinking. "Oh this is a fitness/health blog..." BUT stop right there---I'm not going to tell you how to quick lose 5 lbs by tomorrow or how to look the best in your bikini this weekend. Instead, I'm going to encourage you to put all judgement and self-consciousness behind and just enjoy yourself. Whether you are wearing a strappy little swimsuit, a tankini or just a tank top and shorts- do it confidently. It's so easy to think you can't put on a suit until you're in that perfect shape. BUT let me tell you, if that's your attitude you'll probably never feel good/confident enough to do it. So just bite the bullet and do it. Go make memories and forget your half naked. Do you think your friends and kids are going to remember how you looked in your swimsuit or how much fun you had together splashing, tubing, skiing or just lounging around in the water? Yep, the memories made are priceless so don't worry if you haven't lost that last inch or if your tummy isn't rock hard- you have a body that moves, breathes and is an AMAZING machine. Celebrate it!

Of course being in the water is great but don't forget to drink it! Stay hydrated even if you are drinking other beverages of choice. Switch off, come back to the house/cabin/camper for breaks and drink some water. Your body, skin and head will thank you tomorrow!

Happy Fourth of July from Grub for Gratitude!

February 2, 2016

(Special Announcement) Introducing the "NOT From a Box Series"

We can all relate to the nights that we don't want to "think" and just want supper to be made. However, it would sure be nice if it was better for our bodies that some of our boxed up tasty dishes. Watching your sodium, you'll want to brace yourself when reading these labels. Most boxed side dishes and entrees provide over 900 milligrams of sodium per serving (That is if you eat just one serving.. you'll want to check that out too)!!! 

This series will help you make your own versions of some of these boxed favorites like cheesy shells, suddenly salads and other pasta and rice dishes. 

Stay tuned for the first recipe coming soon! 

November 24, 2015

Always be Thankful...

'Tis the seasons for  stores blaring holiday music and receiving 100,000,000 coupons and flyers in the  mail trying to get us to start Christmas shopping, it's hard to step back and think about being THANKFUL for the wonderful things you already have in your life. Most of them aren't even material things.

I got these wooden blocks from a friend a few years back and it's a great reminder to me that I need to ALWAYS be thankful, not just around Thanksgiving time.

Happy Thanksgiving from Grub for Gratitude to you! I hope you enjoy your time with friends and family this week.

August 21, 2015

Pear & Mushroom Sauce

This year I was not able to plant a garden for a few different reasons but we still have our apple and pear trees which is great this time of year. After a bit of research I realized the type of pear trees that we have in the backyard (Summercrisp) are ready for eating, like right now! So out to the yard I go with my ladder in hand to harvest the pears. 

After getting a full  box of pears I had to decide what I would do with all of them! I wanted to bake with them but tried to resist the urge in hopes I could figure out a way to cook with them without turning them into a dessert... That's just too easy, add some sugar and butter and everything is delicious, right? So I decided on something a little more unusual. A Pear Mushroom Reduction to be served over our grilled chicken breasts. Now, before you switch pages, thinking "reduction" sounds too fancy, don't be fooled! It was SUPER easy and done in the time it took to grill the chicken. If it makes you feel better we will call it a 
"sauce" instead of a reduction, feel better now? 

While I was simmering the sauce, Mr. GFG, was turning up his nose at the smell of the balsamic vinegar. However, since it simmered quite awhile and there was brown sugar too, the sauce came out to be delicious and we both gobbled it right up!

Pear Mushroom Sauce


3-4 pears (depending on size)
1 (8 oz) package of mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
salt and pepper
basil, to garnish

Serve with grilled chicken or pork

Wash, peel and chop the pears (or canned pears) into edible chunks.
Wash mushrooms by wiping with a damp paper. Slice mushrooms if needed.
Heat sauté pan and add balsamic vinegar, pears, mushrooms, brown sugar and salt and pepper to taste.
Bring to a boil and cook over medium-low heat while you prepare your meat- about 20-25 minutes.
Serve the sauce over a chicken breast or pork chop. 
Comments Do not submerge mushrooms in water, they will absorb water and become mushy

August 18, 2015

Back to School Snacking

“I scream, you scream, we all scream for BEEF JERKY!

…Oh, that’s not the song you remember as a kid? Hmm, I guess my love for beef jerky has beat out my obsession with ice cream lately. That’s because I was finally introduced to a brand of jerky that taste great and isn’t full of the yucky stuff most jerky is stuffed with. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve always enjoyed traditional beef jerky, but this new brand has blown me out of the water.

What’s so exciting about Simply Snackin’ you ask? It’s fairly local, made in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and is a family owned business. They have the craziest flavor combinations that make raise your eyebrows (but then you take a bite and smile ear to ear), AND they aren’t made with fillers or junk like MSG. If I had to choose a favorite flavor, it would be the Teriyaki Dried Chicken Breast with Mango (it also happens to be the first one I tasted). Venison with Cranberries and Cherries is a very close second favorite.  I truly enjoy all of the flavors, though. It’s a refreshing change from the typical dried beef that is hard as a rock and makes you want to run for the nearest water fountain. 

Okay, let’s get to the important part, how does it compare to “typical” beef jerky? Here’s the breakdown.

(per 1 oz serving)
   “typical jerky”      Simply Snackin’ 
80 calories
Total Fat
1 g
570 mg
4.5 g
11.5 g

*I chose to compare these nutrients because those are the ones I personally, I look for in the snacks like jerky. In my opinion, when looking at jerky, sodium would be the #1 nutrient to look at as well as the ingredient list. 

Looks like Simply Snackin’ takes the cake! 

I like to pair the jerky with fruit like an apple or a fruit cup for an easy, on the go snack. It would also be a great after school snack for your kids that are in sports or other activities.

*Disclaimer: I was sent samples to review this product. I was not compensated for my time. My ideas are my own and not bias in any way.

August 14, 2015

Grilled Watermelon

Have you ever tried grilling fruit? It's something that most people don't think of as "grilling food," But it really is! You can grill all kinds of fruit including peaches, plums, berries and watermelon! 

Check out this recipe for grilled watermelon topped with a little jalapeño and lemon.

Zesty Grilled Watermelon


Watermelon wedges
Lemon (or limes)

Wash jalapeños and lemons thoroughly. Slice lemons into thin slices.
Preheat grill 
Put jalapeños on grill whole.
While jalapeños are grilling, place lemon and watermelon slices on grill. Turning once half way through. Grill for about 10 minutes total. 
When jalapeños are blistered, use gloves to thinly slice the jalapeno. 
Serve grilled watermelon wedge, topped with lemon and jalapeno slice. To eat rub jalapeno on watermelon and squeeze lemon juice over whole watermelon slice. 
Remove seeds of jalapeno if you do not want it too spicy. I’m not a huge spice lover and I liked the kick the jalapeno gave it. 

August 12, 2015

Three Reasons Being the Middle Child is the best

August 12th is Middle Child Day!

I'm the middle child in my family so I figured we'd celebrate. I'm not sure what that says about my personality, or what I'm destined to be, but I do know I love being in the middle between two brothers. It wasn't always this way, but since I went off to college (I won't say how long ago that was), we've become a lot closer... I'm sure it has something to do with not having to share our space for more than a long weekend. But seriously, these two guys have taught me many things whether they know it or not. 

Three Reasons Being in the Middle is the Best:

1. You are never the one getting picked on, but instead the one instigating with either the older, or younger brother.

2. You have the protection of an older sibling but get to protect your little sibling- the best of both worlds.

3. You don't have to be the one to break your parents heart by being the "last to go to kindergarten" or the "last to go off to college" and leave them empty nesters... that's a lot of pressure, thanks little brother for taking the blow on those situations!

All in all I have two pretty awesome brothers! My younger brother is buff and spends a lot of time in the weight room. My older brother has a very physical job and stays lean and mean from being active all day at work. They both decided to do a triathlon last weekend (with pretty minimal training mind you) and did awesome! I wasn't there to cheer them on, LD was there to watch his uncles! They are already setting a great example of how to be active and healthy! Thanks boys!